Nursery Rhymes

Wooden Swords

Medieval life and Times

Description of Wooden Swords

The weapons used the Medieval times include the use of the Wooden Swords used for practice. Wooden Swords, or Batons, were the name of the swords which were used in Sword training or Tournaments and were made of whalebone or wood.

The description of the Wooden Swords which provides basic facts and information about the practice weapon is as follows:

  • Wooden Swords - This weapon originated as a club or cudgel and is the simplest of all mêlée weapons
  • The Baton - Medieval Wooden Swords, were the names of the swords which were used in Tournaments or training and were made of whalebone or wood
  • Wooden Swords measured two and a half feet long - the length of Wooden Swords were specified in a fifteenth century treatise on cries des joustes
  • A Rebated sword is one that has had its point and edge blunted for training or tournament
  • Behourd was the old name of the training ground for young knights and squires. The behourd was also used as a friendly tournament to be held at special occasions such as weddings, knight ceremonies and coronations
  • At these special tournaments, or behourds, the Medieval Wooden Swords were decorated to give the appearance of real weapons
  • Wooden Swords were only used to strike 'above the belt'
  • Training Combats or tournaments using Wooden Swords were settled by either a set number of counted blows, or until one or both combatants had been “satisfied” i.e. had enough
  • The wooden sword was used as a versatile, close contact practice weapon. It was cheap to produce in its simplest form being made from a single piece of wood that was narrow enough on one end to be grasped by the hand
  • Wooden Swords were made of any type of hard wood, lime was often preferred  
  • A blow from a wooden sword or a baton could apply tremendous force

Training Combats or tournaments (behourds) using Wooden Swords
Training Combats or tournaments (behourds) using Wooden Swords were settled by either a set number of counted blows, or until one or both combatants had been “satisfied” i.e. had enough. Certain blows or manoeuvres using Wooden Swords were allocated set numbers of points. 

  • Thrusts to the body, shoulder and face counted as three points
  • An immobilization or disarm was counted as three points
  • Thrusts to the rest of the body or wrists counted for one point
  • Strikes made with the use of the pommel or quillon also counted for one point

N.B. The quillon was the crossbar on the hilt of a sword. The pommel was part of the hilt which acted as a counterweight to the blade.

Medieval Life and Times Home
Medieval Swords and Armor

Privacy Statement

Cookie Policy

© 2017 Siteseen Ltd